Thursday, October 29, 2020

October 26-30, 2020

This week was full of Halloween fun!

On Monday, we drew jack-o-lanterns.

On Tuesday, we used our senses to examine a pumpkin.

We felt the pumpkin and described
how it felt.

We looked inside and described what we
saw and smelled.

We touched the "guts" to see what
they felt like.

We took turns scooping out the inside.

We examined the seeds.

On Wednesday, we carved our pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern.

First, we drew a face on the pumpkin.

Then, we helped cut out each piece.

Finally. we put a candle inside to
see our jack-o-lantern all lit up!

On Thursday, we conducted an elephant toothpaste science experiment!

We mixed hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, food coloring, yeast, and water to make the magic happen! The foam that formed is a result of an exothermic reaction where energy was released in the form of heat.

Mr. Hartsock even joined in on the fun!

All of the early childhood students LOVED watching the foam form. You can try the experiment at home by following the directions here.

On Friday, we celebrated with all our friends at the Halloween Mission Party!

Pictures coming next week!

Some reminders:
  • There will be no show and tell next week. Our next show and tell will be on Monday, November 9, and the topic will be something that begins with /c/. Please send in something that begins with the hard /c/ sound (like in car, cat, carrot, etc.) not the soft /c/ sound (like in Cinderella, circle, cent, etc.)
  • November is All Religions month at HCA. If you or someone you know would be willing to share with a class, a division, or multiple groups either in person, via zoom, or through a pre- recorded clip, please email and we will make it as easy as possible. 
  • Looking forward, December is All Families month, and January is Native Heritage month. Please email if you have any ideas. 

Linvilla Thanksgiving Pie Fundraiser

Order forms were sent home yesterday for the HCA Linvilla Thanksgiving Pie Fundraiser. Help support our school and help the EC students win a pajama day!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2020

October 19-23, 2020

All month long, we have been busy decorating our classroom for autumn and Halloween! Check out what the amazing Pre-K artists have created!

The boys and girls were challenged to create their own monster 
using a variety of shapes.

"Pre-K is unbe"leaf"able!" Look at us playing in the leaves!

Watch us dance like leaves!

Directed Drawing

We completed our first directed drawing activity. Directed drawings are ways for students to create their own artwork by following step-by-step instructions. They help to strengthen students' confidence and listening skills while encouraging students to pay close attention to details. Look at our Franken-Buddies for Halloween! We have some amazing artists in Pre-K!

We also learned a new game this week - roll and cover. Each child has a game board showing various ways to represent different quantities. They roll the dice and have to match the quantity on the dice to the quantity on the board. It is a great way to practice number quantities and one-to-one correspondence and the boys and girls LOVE it!

Some reminders:
  • Please pack two napkins for snack and lunch everyday!
  • In order to promote better air flow in the classrooms, we will have the windows open whenever possible. It does get warm in the classroom so I suggest sending your child to school in layers. Please put your child's name in any sweatshirts or jackets that come to school. 
  • Show and tell will be on Thursday, October 29. The topic will be something that to do with Halloween or Autumn.
  • Next Friday, October 30, is the annual HCA Mission Party! While things will look very different this year, we are still excited for a fun-filled day! Students may come to school dressed in costume or, if you prefer, they may wear orange and black. Please make sure they wear sneakers! Dismissal will be at 12:00 noon and there will be no HCA Plus. 
  • Follow us on Instagram @hcadrexelhilec! 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2020

October 12-16, 2020

 Make a New Friend Day!

Students at this age tend to play with the same friends all the time. This is especially true of a small class like ours this year. Yesterday, we had make a new friend day in Pre-K. The children chose a new friend to play with at recess time and then reported back what they did with their friend during snack. We will do this several times throughout the year. It is a great way for the children to learn to make new friends, while still keeping their old friends.

Luke and Anthony are working on their balance skills.

Ava and Greyson are just hanging around.

Charlie and Justine are swinging from the monkey bars.

Connor and Lexi are ready to go!


At our Morning Meeting this week, we learned about measurement. The children activated their prior knowledge by talking about getting measured at the doctor's to see how tall they are. We used unifix cubes to measure some materials in our classroom.

Justine measured a cup - 6 cubes tall!

Connor and Luke measure the table - 34 cubes wide!

Charlie and Ava measured a pencil box - 10 cubes long!

Lexi measured her shoe - 8 cubes long!

Then, we wrote and drew about our measurements in our journals.

Great writing, Anthony!

Way to go, Greyson!

We even measured Mrs. Barrera - she is 94 cubes tall!

Progress Reports

Progress reports will be sent home next week. Please remember to sign up for a parent/teacher conference here. If none of those times work for you, please let me know!


  • Please send in a fall change of clothes for your child. I will return the original set once the new clothes come in.
  • Show and tell will be on Tuesday, October 20 and the topic will be something that begins with the /t/ sound.
  • Scholastic Book Club orders are due on Tuesday, October 20. You may order online at using our class code H7WXZ or by completing the paper form with a check made payable to "Scholastic."
  • There will be no school for the students on Friday, October 23, due to conferences and a faculty inservice.
  • We will be celebrating Halloween at our Halloween Mission Party on Friday, October 30. Dismissal will be at 12:00 noon that day and there will be no HCA Plus. More information will be coming home soon!
  • During the month of November, we will be celebrating religious diversity at HCA. If you or someone you know would like to share with a class, a division, or the whole school, please email Julie Myers ( 

Follow us on Instagram @hcadrexelhillec!

Friday, October 9, 2020

October 5-9, 2020

This week in Pre-K, we focused on patterns during our Morning Meeting. The boys and girls learned that patterns are groups of things that repeat by following a rule. They learned that when they try to continue a pattern, they need to predict what comes next based on what they already know. First, they practiced naming and continuing patterns I showed them. Then, they worked on their own!

We made a pattern out of our classmates.

We used the Pink Tower and Brown Stair to build patterns.

We found some patterns in our classroom.

Luke and Ava found a color pattern
on the calendar.

Charlie made a pattern with Halloween erasers.

We even drew some patterns in our journals.

See if you can find some patterns at home!

Greyson went on a walk with his mom and 
they found a pattern in a flower garden.

Other news:
  • This week, we participated in The Hartford's Junior Fire Marshal Program. The students learned about fire safety, smoke alarms, and the importance of making an escape plan. I am sending home some activity sheets for you to complete as a family if interested.
  • There is no school on Monday, October 12.
  • There will be no show and tell next week. Our next show and tell will be on Tuesday, October 20. The topic will be something that begins with the /t/ sound.

Our first Scholastic order is in! Thank you to Greyson's family for the wonderful books for our classroom. October's catalogs were sent home yesterday. If you would like to order, you may complete the paper form and pay with a check made payable to Scholastic or you can order online at using our class code H7WXZ. All orders are due by Tuesday, October 20.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Friday, October 2, 2020

September 28 - October 2, 2020

 Montessori Work Period

A Montessori work period is an uninterrupted block of time where the children are able to explore the prepared environment and engage with materials of their own choosing from their shelves. As you know, each child has his/her own shelf filled with materials selected to meet their individual academic needs. The work period time is meant to give them opportunities to enjoy the work they love, while also cultivating their skills. Currently, the children have two Montessori work periods during the day - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. At this time, they are working on their Montessori lessons for approximately 60-90 minutes a day. The work period time will gradually increase as the year progresses and they are able to focus for longer periods of time on their work. 

Connor is working on hand-eye coordination
and balance to build the Red Knobless Cylinders
from largest to smallest.

Justine is using tweezers to sort fruit by color
and shape - fine motor practice and a math
lesson all in one!

Anthony is working on the CRIP Letter Box to sort picture
cards by those initial sounds.

Greyson is using the Movable Alphabet
to fill in missing sounds in phonetic words.

Luke is working on one of science puzzles to work
on his pincer grasp, develop his problem solving
skills, and learn the parts of a turtle.

Ava is working with Color Box 2 to match 
colors and sort pictures by color.

Charlie is using the Cards and Counters to count out 
quantities for numbers 1-10.

Lexi is working to finish patterns.

Some reminders:
  • On Monday, October 5, we will be celebrating the Blessing of the Pets at 8:15 am on the field. Please see the Happenings email for more details.
  • Show and tell will be on Friday, October 9, and the topic will be something that begins with the /m/ sound. Please put the item in a brown bag so no one can see it and help your child prepare three clues to help their classmates guess what object they chose to share.
  • Please remember to send in two napkins everyday for snack and lunch.

Have a great weekend!